Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Genesis - Part I

Genesis is one of those groups I and my CD player revisit periodically. There's a lot to revisit as they've been around for over 40 years and the group has gone through several line-up changes as they've refined their sound.

They came together in 1967 and issued two albums before guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins joined Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel in the "classic" Genesis line up in 1970.

The "Gabriel era" from 1970 to 1975 is one of my favourites, characterized by lengthy tracks on theme and concept albums and stage shows with elaborate costumes and lighting effects. This incarnation of Genesis released 4 albums: Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound and the epic double-LP The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Nursery Cryme is seen as a not very polished album compared to the production values of the albums that followed. But it is seen as a significant departure from the group's previous album, likely due to the influence of Hackett and Collins

Released in 1971, Nursery Cryme produced the 10 minute The Musical Box which was to become a staple of the group's live performances. The following clip is from a Belgian television performance in the early 70s. It runs close to 10 minutes so a little patience is required here. But from a rock music historic artifact the performance is amazing. Note Gabriel's flute and base drum playing...

We'll continue our Genesis two-parter Thursday with a look at the group post-Gabriel.

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